Monday, 12 November 2012


The place: Marconi House, London. The date: Tuesday 14 November 1922. The occasion: the first ever broadcast by the newly-formed British Broadcasting Company.

Behind the microphone Arthur Burrows, the BBC’s Programme Director. At 6 p.m. he read the first news bulletin – twice – once at normal speed and then again more slowly. Items were punctuated with a chiming clock, actually Burrows at the tubular bells.

This week the BBC has a number of on-air celebrations to mark the 90 years since that inaugural broadcast.

Here’s my own contribution to the event, 90 years of radio in 90 minutes, or thereabouts. It’s in rough chronological order but I sometimes dart around the years to make up some of the individual sequences. There was plenty I wanted to include but either didn’t have the recordings or they just didn’t fit. There’s plenty missing too, nothing to represent Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales for instance. It reflects my own radio interests and, of course, my own recordings over the years.

Some material is sourced from the CD 75 Years of the BBC and the LP 50 Years of Broadcasting kindly digitised by Andy Howells. Thanks also to David Lloyd for a couple of items from his Radio Moments collection. 

Here are some of the BBC90 programmes to listen out for:

Tuesday 13 November
Radio 2 – The History of Music Radio with Paul Gambacinni (6 part series)

Wednesday 14 November
All BBC stations – Radio Reunited
Radio 2 – Simon Mayo Drivetime from the Science Museum
Radio 2 – The Listeners’ Archive with Simon Mayo

Friday 16 November
Radio 4 Extra - 90 by 90 The Full Set (continues throughout the month)

Sunday 18 November
BBC 6 Music – The Listeners Archive with Steve Lamacq

Monday 19 November
Radio 4 – Revolutionary Radio with Fi Glover

Friday 23 November
Radio 4 – The BBC and All That


Chrissy Brand said...

Wonderful- thanks Andy ;-)

Tim Atkinson said...

You've forgotten my contribution (to the BBC's downfall possibly). Or they have. Either way, I'd hate you to miss out. So here it is:

Andy Walmsley said...

Thanks for that Tim. A lovely reading. I remember those Chapel Street studios very well and the name of Gail Fryer.

Tim Atkinson said...

Whatever happened to Gail Fryer. We moved from Hull to Wakefield in about 1975 so lost touch with Radio Humberside, and all who sailed in her.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...